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Full text of "Atari Force Comics Issue 210: Home is the Hero"

BY 

GERRY CONWAY AND 

JOSE LUIS GARCIA LOPEZ 




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THE NEW 




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STOPPING 

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ATARI 

PRESENTS 



-V- Another smash arcade hit 
brought home only by Atari 
for use with the ATARI® 
2600" Game, Sears Video 
Arcadef systems and ver- 
sions exclusively for the 
ATARI 5200'" Super System. 




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ATARI 



"Mario Brothers by Nintendo Trade Marks and © Nintendo 1983. 



Oa WanMr Communlcatlent Company 

■(Trademark of Sears, Roebuck and Co. 




characters and incidents mentioned in this magaz 

New York, NY 10017. (212) 391-1400. 

DC Comics Inc. A Warner Communications Company^J 




CONWAY JO&€ GAEOA U3PEZ 

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INKS 



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cotoes EDITS 




\ frr\rr\ ADCA® <*r\A 



from OREO® and 
NEWTONS® Cookies! 

You can get special savings on ... 4 pages of stickers- 
over 65 stickers in all! Or, a 5 function digital sports watch 
with black racing band. The watch comes with a battery 
and shows . . . Hour . . . Minute . . . Month . . . Date and . . . 
Second! Or, collect a brand NEW 1984 model Matchbox 8 * 
car to add to your series . . . Snorkel Fire Engine or 4 x 4 
Jeep Eagle! 

Order one item or, order them all. Just follow the instruc- 
tions in the Official Order Form below. Remember each 
item ordered must contain the required purchase price and 
Purchase Seals from OREO* Chocolate Sandwich 
Cookies, FIG NEWTONS* or APPLE NEWTONS" Fruit 
Chewy Cookies. 

Ask your mom to buy OREO and NEWTONS Cookies 
today and save up for these special items. HURRY . . . all 
orders must be received by AUGUST 31, 1984. 





SPECIAL GIFT OFFICIAL ORDER FORM 

Complete and mail to: OREO/NEWTONS GIFTS 
P.O. Box 4031, Young America, MN 5S399 

Please check the item(s) you want to order. Be sure to enclose the correct amount of money 
(do not send cash— make check or money order payable to Nabisco Special Savings). Also 
included is the correct number of OREO*, FIG NEWTONS* and/or APPLE NEWTONS™ 
Purchase Seals cut from the cookie packages. Write the amount of each item ordered in 
each box. 



Send ma 

MATCHBOX" JEEP 



• FIRE ENGINE 

I have endoeod 75* and ONE 
Purchase Seal from any 
package of OREO. FIG NEWTONS 
or APPLE NEWTONS 
Cookies for each car. 



□ 



Send me 

STICKERS 



□ Sand me 
DIGITAL WATCHES 

I haw andosed COO and 
TWO Purchase Saab from THREE Purchase Seals 

any two packages of OREO. from any three packages of 

FIG NEWTONS and/or OREO. FIG NEWTONS 

APPLE NEWTONS Cookies and/or APPLE NEWTONS 

foreacnaetcf suckers- Cookies lor each watch. 



Send my order to: 
Name 



(PLEASE PRINT) 



Address . 



-State. 



-Zip. 



City. 

(Required) 

Offer good only in the U.S.A. This Official Order Form must be used and cannot be repro- 
duced. Limit one order per household, group or organization. Offer void where taxed, 
restricted or prohibited by law. Allow 6 to S weeks delivery. WE MUST RECEIVE THIS 
ORDER BY AUGUST 31. 1984. 

INDICATES TRADEMARK OF MATCHBOX INTERNATIONAL LTD. C 1963 




I— X DON'T 
UNOeeSTAWD! 
C*£X?Y SAID YOU 
4ND VOUaeATHECL 

eroue a $hip— 




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/MAKE PC COMICS' 
EPIC FANTASY 
HEROES COME ALIVE 
. WITH THESE ACTION 
FIGURES FROM 

BACH 5 '/a- INCH FIGURE COMBS 

comfieie with accessories.' 




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COLLECT THm ALU 

TM indicates Trademark of DC Comics Inc. ©1982 • t982 Remco Toys, Inc. New York, NY 10010 



• *••••••••. 



• • • • • 



• • • * • 



■ *«>>■! 



• • * • 



• • • • » 



• • • • • • • • •.•.•.*»*.*. 




CO 



If i were asked to sum up DCs 
publishing philosophy in two words 
(and incidentally, no one has actually 
asked hie to do so), I would have to 
respond: diversity arid commitment. 
(Er . : . the similarity between those 
words' initials and our company's 
name is purely coincidental.) Diversity 
in genre, diversity in format, diversity 
in style; We strive to present a variety of 
styles rather than a standardized (but 
easier to attain) "house look." We know 
we could milk the success of TEEN 
TITANS and LEGION OF SUPER- 
HEROES by endlessly cloning or 
spinning off new titles from those (and 
Other) titles. The advantages are ob- 
vious. The advantages are also short 
term. We know we could borrow the 
success of properties developed by 
others by licensing- Profitable in the 
short term ...? Maybe. We know we can 
generate a good chunk of revenue by 
reprinting everything good and 
everything not-so-good in our library. 
Again short term. Instead we choose to 
build for the future with diverse for- 
mats, genres, and styles like 
CAMELOT 3000, NATHANIEL DUSK, 
RONIN, THR1UER ...yes, even 
OMEGA MEN, BLUE DEVIL, and 
VIGILANTE, which, even though they 
fall broadly into the "favored genre" of 
super heroes, try to appeal to different 
segments of the audience by using a 
different approach to that "favored 
genre." Super-heroes make wonder- 
ful reading and I wouldn't for a 
moment suggest that we abandon 
them. To the contrary, much of our 
1985 production will concern itself 
with the enhancement of all of DCs 
super- heroes, to redefine our universe 
and recreate our older characters; to 
create new characters to populate our 
universe. But expanding the scope of 
our audience demands diversity. To 
meet that demand requires time, 
patience, money, and a willingness to 
gamble occasionally. We need to be 
very active in the solicitation of new 
ideas. We have to read and examine 1 5 
or 20 presentations for every one we 
select. I think you'd be surprised at 
some of the creator names on presen- 
tations now sitting on my desk. Our 
open-door policy and the fact that we 
do not operate from a preconceived 
notion of what's doable and what is not 



is well known to the creative communi- 
ty and they know that, at the least, they 
and their ideas will be greeted openly 
and with respect when they come to us. 
And come to us they do. 



MM 



Since diversity of product line 
springs from diversity of thought, we 
have altered the mix of our editorial 
staff, as reported In this column earlier, 
by adding talented people to our crew 
who had previously earned their keep 
in other publishing fields. The mixing 
of ideas and skills from several 
different publishing disciplines has 
already proved to be an asset for us. 



$h 



Commitment. What are we com- 
mitted to? Well, we're committed to 
publishing the best comics we can. 
We're committed to searching out and 
utilizing the most appropriate produc- 
tion end printing techniques for our 
new properties. We're also committed 
to taking the time to make sure those 
techniques work aa they were intend- 
ed. We're committed to the ongoing 
need to search for and develop new 
talent. 



@ 



When World Color Press, in Sparta, 
announced the potential availability of 
a new printing technique, that news 
was greeted by a distinctly ho-hum 
attitude from our major competitors. 
We enthusiastically endorsed their 
experimentation and made them 
promise to let us know on what day we 
could first see the results of that new 
technique. Bob Rozakis and I will goto 
Sparta on that day and have us a look. 
We choose our color separation : 
method and supplier carefully, based 
on the property involved and its 
peculiar creative requirements. Bob 
and I and occasionally members of the 
creative team spend odd hours in odd 
places looking at proofs or make- 
readies at press. Weeks ago Bob 



Rozakis and I journeyed to Sparta for 
one day to look at press proofs of THE 
NEW TEEN TITANS #1. We checked 
some of those proofs after being 
dragged kicking and screaming out of 
bed sometime past midnight to return 
to the plant to check the final form. 



® 



When I was first given my current 
responsibilities at DC, one of my first 
acts was to announce a talent search. I 
knew we, the industry, could not get 
through the Eighties with only the 
talent poo} available then, and the only 
way to draw hew talent in was to go out 
and look for it. The program has 
worked (as an example, 3 current 
members of the creative teams on both 
versions of LEGION OF SUPER- 
HEROES are graduates of that 
program). And we anticipate even 
better results in the future. The page 
count of NEW TALENT SHOWCASE 
has been expanded. Four seminars f pr 
selected talented people in the USA 
and Canada will be organized and 
conducted this summer by Talent 
Coordinator Sal Amendola. Ongoing 
workshops are held weekly at our 
offices, conducted by Sal, Paul Levitz, 
and, occasionally, yours truly. We look 
for existing talent outside our country. 
SWAMP THING writer, Alan Moore, 
current GL artist, Dave Gibbons, and of 
course CAMELOT' sown Brian Boifand 
are or were regular contributors to 
British comics. We've been working 
with Kevin O'Neill, also from England, 
and deals are in the works for at least 
limited contributions from other 
British creative people. We've also 
gone to other fields in search of new 
i talent and yre are currently discussing 
potential projects with illustrators, 
novelists, and Science Fiction writers. 



© 



We have a road map. We know where 
we're going. We have the will and the 
means and the right stuff to get us there 
and we hope you'll join us. 

Thank you and Good Afternoon. 



^>l\- 



-30D 




You can stand alone in the blind 

darkness and know that were you to raise 
your arm, reaching out to its fullest extremity, 
your fingertips would brush with something 
wet, something supple and resilient. 



Something moving. 

You shouldn't have come here. 



This is the place. The §9(13 Of 

This is the story jhc Swamp Thing 



SAVE Yb OFF THE COVER PRICE. 

ONLY #6.00 FOR 12 ISSUES! 



Enclosed please find $6.00 for Swamp Thing. 

Remittance (via check or money order • U.S. funds) must accompany order. 

Add $2.00 additional postage for delivery outside the U.S.A. 

Thank you. 

Please print legibly 

and mail to: 

DC Comics Subscriptions 

P.O. Box 1308-F Dept. SW 

Fort lee, NJ 07024 



NAME 



ADDRESS 



CITY, STATE 



ZIP CODE 



Please allow 10-12 weeks for delivery of the first issue. 
This offer valid through October 30, 1984 



The Saga ol 
the Swamp Thing 



•=-§■ 




SUIT OFF...OAVE MB 
A9EA/7/VO 'i. STILL 

ABOUT,. .ANP THREW 
M6 IN THB ttittO. 




"RMAuy, rue Tt^e ctame when i was as EeAcy as i was &/er <somva be,. 




"...gen I've <3otta Acwrr, i FeuruiiE A zeal //eez. . I'd gotten to £/,«£• that ugly son. stiu-, i wawtei? out. 

ANP THAT'S WHEN X GOT THE SHOCK OF M y tSFe... 




CONTINUED ON 2>jg PAGE FOLLOWING. | 



■ IIH|bb ■%■/%■ i* AlaftlAff I M ^ r " a advertiser direct tor Information. 
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ANC? YOU WANT M.& 
TO tfWSft THE 

STOEY. / ALL EIGHT. 

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IT WILL HELP YOU 

UMOezSTAJMD 

YOU(2.CWHeiZ l S„. 

PATHOLOGICAL 

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DC Comics Inc. 
666 Fifth Annua 
New York. NY 10103 

Jenette knhn, President and Publlshei 

Dick Giordano, Vice Pres.-Executive Editor 

Andrew Heller, Editor 

Tom Condon, Managing Editor 

Pat Bastienne, Editorial Coordinate 

Bob Rozakis, Production Manager 

Joe Orlando, Vice Prea. -Editorial Director 

Paul Levltz, Vice Prea.Operations 

Bruce Bristow, Marketing Director 

Arthur Qutowltz, Treasurer 



This Issue's guest inker is Eduardo 
Barreto, one of DCs newest rising 
young stars. We think he's done a 
superb job filling in for the all-together 
loo-busy RicardoVillagran, who'ssr/V/at 
work catching up on STAR TREK after 
completing the mammoth 64-page 
movie adaptation (which should be on 
sale soon after you read this). Ricardo 
promises us he'll be back next issue, so 
until then we ask you to feast your eyes 
on Eduardo's distinctive inks. And if 
you're impressed — end we think you 
should be— then be on the lookout for 
Eduardo's pencil and ink work, which 
has been (and will be) appearing on a 
whole passel of DC covers, as well as in 
the pages of various DC magazines. He's 
a real find, and sure to be everyone's 
favorite in the months to come. 

And before we forget: We don't make 
a habit of plugging future issues (unless 
it's the next issue, and then only in this 
letter column's final paragraph), but this 
time we're making an exception. Be 
warned: ATARI FORCE #12 (the issue 
after next) is one comic you will never 
forget. It features the wrapping up of a 
year-long storyline, and includes some 
incredible changes in the group's 
makeup that you never thought we'd 
have the nerve to do. There are some 
heavy revelations in the works here, and 
we wouldn't want anyone to miss a 
single one. So if you think everything 
Gerry, Jose Luis, and company have 
done thus far has been off the wall — you 
ain't seen nothing yetl 

Hope you'll pardon us for this bit ot 
self-indulgence, but as you can see, 
we're really enthusiastic about the 
stories to come, and we just had to lei 
you readers know. Anyway, on to the 
letters 



Dear Gerry and Jose: 

As I was filing my comics, I decided to 
reread issues 1-6 of ATARI FORCE. I'm 
glad I did. This is distinctly one of DCs 
best comics (right up there with the 
TITANS, SWAMP THING, and Doug 
Moench'sBATMAN books), in both story 
and art. The comic hangs together well 
as one long story, and the issue-by- 
issue stories are entertaining and infor- 
mative. All in all, Gerry. I'd say that this 
is the best comic you've ever writtenl 

Now on to the real reason for this 
letter. I work part-time in a Science 
Fiction/Fantasy/Comics shop, and I see 
many small children (below the age of 
ten, that is) come in often. They buy 
ALPHA FLIGHT, SECRET WARS, and 



overpriced back issues of SPIDERMAN 
252 (the one where he gets his new 
costume). Adults buy these too, and 
eagerly awail the next issue. I want to 
shake them and say "Don't buy that 
stuff! Bui — " and then I don't know what 
to say. AMERICAN FLAGGI, CEREBUS 
NEXUS, THRILLER, DREADSTAR— all of 
my favorite comics — are too advanced, 
too intricate for a preadolescem 
American kid to understand. 

And then I read the letter column in 
AF #6, where Jason Wood, age 8, writes 
and asks sophisticated questions, and I 
realized— that's ill ATARI FORCEI It's 
simple enough for a child to read and 
appreciate, but the stories also have a 
fair share of intricacy and subtlety, and 
the whole comic has an elegance and 
style that makes it worth an adult's time. 

Thank you for giving me the answer to 
my problem 

Kevin J. Maroney 

409 Landerwood 

Chapel Hill, NC 27514 

(It's always nice to hear irom people 
who actually sell comics, to get a good 
idea of what's hot and what's not. But 
more than being a "hot" selling book, 
it's important to all concerned with 
A TARI FORCE that we remain a "good" 
book. That you, and many other retailers 
we've spoken with, feel that ATARI 
FORCE bridges the generation gap of 
comics entertainment is very high 
praise indeed.! 



Dear Mr. Conway. 

I used to wriie many letters to many 
different titles at DC, but I stopped 
because none of rny letters were ever 
printed. I always thought that it was 
because of rny age; I was 10, and stated 
that at the time. 

Now I come across ATARI FORCE, a 
comic in which the editor encourages us 
kids to write. Well, I'm a kid, end I have 
been encouraged to write, go I have 
picked up rny pen, sat down, and 
written!! (Thanks, Andy!) 

Anyway, first I'd like to commend Mr 
Conwayfor the best job anywriter could 
do on a comic like this. The character- 
izations are marvelous, as are the 
stories. One thing, though: I think you 
should show more of New Earth's 
environment; most of the stories thus 
far have taken place with the char- 
acters cooped up inside of buildings, 
spaceships, etc. New Earth isprobablys 
fascinating place! 



And one more thing, about the 
artwork: MAGNIFICENTII 

Until Morphea grows a Mohawk, 

Anthony Rapp — age 12 

24221 IngallsAva 

Joliet, IL 60435 

( Glad to hear we inspired you to write 

Anthony. This is as good a time as any tc 

remind everyone out there that we want 

to hear from everybody who has some 

thing to say — be they eight or eighty! To 

grant your request — we 've already done 

itl As you've probably a/ready seen. 

Tempest has been phasing across New 

Earth since last issue, and will remain 

on new terra-firma for some time to 

come as he unravels the secret of the 

DARK DESTROYER. That is. unless 

HUNTER gets his way!) 



Dear Atari Forcers, 

I have been collecting different com- 
ics for a long time. About 1982 I lost 
interest, but when ATARI FORCE and 
other new comics came out I became a 
collector again. I love ATARI FORCEI It's 
greatl My Favorite characters are Pakrat 
and Babe. I like Pakrat's cowardliness 
until he's cornered. That's really cute. I 
like Babe's bulky body but cute face and 
dialogue. In issue #6 and 7 I was sorry 
for Tempest and his father. Tempest 
getting whipped by that jerk the Dark 
Destroyer and his father worrying about 
him. In issue #7 I was amazed. I didn't 
think gentle Morphea could be so 
powerful. I was glad that they all got free 
but I am worried about Babe lost in 
space. I hope that he doesn't get hurt. I 
also hope Pakrat saves him. After Babe 
splashed him it would be a great way to 
make up. Well, thanks for a great comic 
Sincerely 
Jeremy Stewart — age 1 1 
2906 So. 3rd St 
Louisville, KY 40208 

{As you no doubt have already dis 
covered, Jeremy, Babe is safe and 
sound aboard Scanner One again, plus 
one new friend. I 



Dear Guys, 

ATARI FORCE is really great! The an 
is fantastic and the stories are really 
original. But one thing is not as it should 
be to make this book even better and 
that's the coloring. The book has too 
many "light" colors which should be 
brighter. I hate it when background 
characters and objects are colored one 



single color. I knowyou can't color every 
single object as it really is, but I wish you 
could solve this problem in some new 
original way. I'm no expert in this field, 
but I know what looks right and how it 
could look better. 

Thanks for reading and taking note. 

Ralph lenco 

1 1 Oakland Drive 

Hamilton, Ontario 

Canada L8E 3R4 

(Coloring is a tricky thing, Ralph, 
We're not prepared to give you a crash 
course right now — there isn't the 
room — but there are reasons Tom Ziuko 
colors everything the way ha had. The 
reason he colors many of the back- 
ground characters "monochro- 
matically," that is, using different 
values of the same color, is to help those 
characters in the foreground "pop" or 
stand out better. On the other hand, in a 
busy scene, a main character might be 
colored a single color so it would stand 
out amid all the other smaller colored 
areas, ft everything was colored the way 
it might really look, the whole page 
might turn out to be an unreadable 
tumble of colors. 

As for the "light" colors you complain 
about, that's purely due to the printing of 
the book. Sometimes certain color inks 
print light, other times they print dark. 
We've vastly improved the reproduc- 
tion quality over the past months by 
using the whiter "Mando" paper, so 
things are better than they werell 



Dear Andv et al: 

I picked up ATARI FORCE #6 and #7 at 
a mini con the other day, having learned 
that Garcia Lopez was "back at the 
controls," so to speak. Lopez and 
Villagran are one hot art teaml I've 
admired Lopez' pencils in the past, 
however, I am pleased and surprised at 
the incredibly beautiful stuff he and 
Villagran are creating. The inks are 
some of the nicest I've seen — right up 
there with Terry Austin's work (nice to 
see Terry on cover inks). 

Although it was the art that got me to 
buy the books, Conway's scripting was 
very entertaining— not overwritten, 
thankfully. 

I also loved the lettering — great alien 
dialects! 

I particularly enjoyed the various 
grotesque aliens and robots that pop- 
ulated the Destroyer's ship. I hope to see 
vast numbers of these amusing critters 
in future stories (please?). Gosh, this is a 
great bookl I hope Lopez and Villagran 
can be persuaded to stick with ATARI 
FORCE for a long time! 

Peace, 

Jon Freeman 

1435 W. Luni 

Chicago, IL 60626 

/We're as impressed by the Garcia 
Lopez/Villagran team as you are, Jon. 
but we hope you haven't been dis 
appointed by the last two issues' guest 
inkers. Personally, we feel that both Bob 
Smith's — (last issue) — and Eduardo 
Barreto's — (this issue} — inks are Just 
Qreat too' 



As tor the alien dialects, that's Bolt 
Lappan's boogie. Once Bob gets his 
hands on a page with either neat sound 
effects or alien gibberish, it's weeks 
before we get it back. And when we 
finally do, it takes everything from a 
Captain Midnight decoder ring to a 
hieroglyphics manual to figure out 
exactly what it is he's written! Usually, 
it's even something translatable! But 
seriously. Bob takes a lot of time 
slugging in unusual typestyles and 
encoded gibberish on alien word 
balloons, and 'we're glad you noticed the 
extra effort he puts into each one. If 
you're one of the few who haven't 
examined Bob's balloons closely, go 
back and check 'em out— sometimes it's 
worth a giggle/) 



Dear Andy, 

I recently acquired ATARI FORCE #7. 1 
read the letter column. I read your reply 
to Andrew Logan. 

I am appalled! 

"Only a comic book"? I thought you 
ware a sensitive man. 

When I started to read comic books, I 
found a purpose in life. Before, I was just 
breathing. Then, I started living! 

Superman, Batman, X-Men, Atari 
Force. They all went together. They 
made me a person. Them and all the rest 
made me whole. My comic books made 
me human!! 

And look what you said about them. 

"Only a comic book," Mr. Heifer? And 
l suppose your mother was "only a 
mother." 

THE PHANTOM COMIC 

(You suppose incorrectly, Mr. 
Phantom — my mother is a SAIfJTI But 
seriously, we're sorry if we offendedyou 
in our reply to Andrew Logan's letter. 
Perhaps a fuller explanation of our view- 
point is In order. We here at DC all take 
our comic books very seriously — after 
all, we earn our livings through them. 
But more importantly, comics should be 
fun — a fantasy, an escapa from the 
everyday world. As every psychologist 
will tell you, all people need an occa- 
sional fantasy or two to drop into now 
end then — it's not only necessary, it's 



'healthy! But when fantasies Sake the 
place of living in the real world— well, 
then it becomes a problem. In this case, 
comics cease to be what we. their 
creators, intend them to be — entertain- 
ment. So take it easy, okey?) 



Dear Andy buddy, 

Before I say anything I'd like to 
compliment you on your treatment of us 
ATARI FORCE fans. Not every editor will 
give personal comments on the letters 
written. You make letter pages fun 
again. Thanks!!! 

Now on to business. Issue #7 was 
another captivating story filled with the 
stunning art of Jose Garcia Lopez and 
Ricardo Villagran!! 

My favorite character is Pakrat and 
the reasons are simple: He would be the 
closest guy on the team I personally 
could relate to. Not every person (espe- 
cially not me) could leap into death's 
arms without a second thought like Dart 
does. Sure everybody dreams of being e 
hero, but if you are really faced with a 
dangerous situation, not many people 
could handle ft like most super-heroes 
do. Now, Pakrat is a classic character. 
He plays the part of a wimp(aven though 
I think it's just a front). He gives the 
comic the lightheartedness all comics 
need. So in this letter my salute of the 
day goes to PakratllMII 

Eric James Baich 

77A Fines Drive 

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada 

S4N6C1 

(We're glad you appreciate the work 
that goes into these letter columns. 
When we write them at 4 A.M., it's nice 
to see a letter from someone who 
appreciates the extra effort!) 



NEXT ISSUE: The penultimate install- 
ment to our first 12-part epic is 
guaranteed to be a shocker. In ft, you'll 
learn the secret of the mysterious death 
of original ATARI FORCE member Lydia 
Perez. You'll also get a glimpse of the 
Dark Destroyer's latest evil designs. And 
then there's the matter of Blackjak... 

Be there — or you may live to regret rtl 
—ANDY HELPER 





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